2020 IDP Waiver Wire Pickups: Week 2

If you find this article (or past articles) helpful, please consider DONATING. I put a lot of hours every week into my in-season content and make that content available free of charge to my readers, so any support you can throw my way would be greatly appreciated (even if it's just enough for a cup of coffee). 

Hello and welcome back to the IDPGuru.com's most popular in-season article, IDP Waiver Wire Pickups, which will be releasing every Tuesday of the regular season.

Although I'm happy to answer questions posted via the website comments section, IDP Forum, and email, I'm often quickest to respond via Twitter. So if you have IDP questions, it's a good idea to Follow me on Twitter.

Let's start things off by going through some IDP news, notes, and commentary from Week 1 of the NFL season.

Injuries
Low-end DT1 Kenny Clark exited the Packer's opening day game against the Vikings with a groin injury and did not return. We should have a better understanding of his injury severity in the coming days. 

Early reports indicate that Drue Tranquill likely suffered a broken ankle in Sunday's win over the Bengals. 

Leighton Vander Esch left the Cowboy's Sunday night game fairly early and did not return. It was later revealed he suffered a broken collarbone and will require surgery. He's expected to miss 6-8 weeks. 

Bills linebackers Matt Milano (hamstring) and Tremaine Edmunds (shoulder) exited their game against the Jets with injuries. They were replaced by A.J. Klein and Tyrel Dodson (who was also later injured), respectively. Both starters' injuries aren't considered overly serious and are considered "day-to-day" with a chance to play next week.

Nick Kwaitkoski appears to have avoided a torn pectoral injury as his MRI revealed no signs of a tear. Exactly how much time he will miss (if any) it yet to be announced, however. 

Rookie linebacker Jacob Phillips injured his knee and did not return against the Ravens. He wasn't likely to see a ton of playing time anyway as the Browns typically opt to run a 4-2-5 defense with two linebackers (B.J. Goodson and Sione Takitaki) on the field. 

General Player Notes
Jamie Collins was ejected early in the Lions' contest against the Bears for slightly bumping an official with the crown of his helmet. The league has confirmed he will not face a suspension, however. 

In one of the more surprising IDP personnel moves of the week, Taylor Rapp seemed to lose his starting safety job to Jordan Fuller who played essentially every snap next to fellow safety John Johnson III. Rapp was nursing a knee injury several days before the game so some thought his limited time (15 snaps) was injury-related, but Sean McVay confirmed in his post-game interview that Fuller had just played his way into the starting spot. Rapp saw some late game looks as a third safety in big nickel packages, but the former potential DB1 looks to have lost a majority of his value right now. 

Logan Ryan played 59% of the defensive snaps for the Giants in Week 1. I would expect that percentage to keep increase near every down status in the coming weeks. 

For more detailed playing time notes for linebackers, check out my Every Down Linebackers article. 

Now onto The Guru's IDP waiver wire selections for Week 2! 

(Please note that a majority of these pickups early on are long-term, rest of season pickups as opposed to matchup-type recommendations. As the season progresses and the waiver wire becomes thinner and matchup information becomes more reliable, the focus of this article will shift more towards recommendations based on the weekly matchup.)

Defensive Linemen
DE Aldon Smith (DAL) - Smith sure didn't play like a man who was out of football for five years on Sunday Night. He had an all-around impressive performance with 11 total tackles and a big, third down sack. The Cowboys seemed to recognize his massive potential as he out snapped both Everson Griffen and DeMarcus Lawrence. If Smith qualifies as a DL in your league, he should be one of the top priority pickups at the position.

DE Montez Sweat (WAS) - Pretty much any Washington pass rusher of note had a sack against the Eagles last week, so it's a little difficult to siphon out the "real deals" from the one-week flukes. However, it seems like Sweat's great camp is carrying over into the regular season and that he's ready to build off upon his 7-sack rookie season. Despite their being a logjam of talent at the position, Sweat encouragingly saw 71% of the snaps (2nd highest among pass rushers) and could easily hit double digit sacks this year.

DE Michael Brockers (LAR) - Brockers had 3 total tackles and a sack last week against the Cowboys. More importantly, he squares off against a Philadelphia offensive line that allowed an astounding eight sacks to the Washington Football Team last week. Expect the Eagles' entire pass protection game plan to be focused on stopping Aaron Donald which should free Brockers up to get to the quarterback again in Week 2.


Linebackers
ILB Germaine Pratt (CIN) -
 Pratt was leaving the field in obvious passing situations in favor of rookie linebacker Logan Wilson, but he's still a solid pickup in my book. This is because the Bengals pretty much exclusively run a nickel package with only two linebackers on the field. Josh Bynes is that other linebacker in the base and he isn't a massive tackle threat. Pratt was very productive last year on a per snap basis and that carried through again into Week 1 of this year, so I think his team-leading 12 total tackles on 73% of the snaps are a sign of what's to come versus a fluke.

OLB Nate Gerry (PHI) - Gerry (a former college safety) played every down at linebacker and paced the team with 10 total tackles. I don't think he's the type of player to fill up multiple categories in the box score each week, but he's really one of the only guys in town to make tackles on that defense. So he should be near the top of the tackle columns each week and serve as a low-end LB3 in 12 team leagues.

ILB Jon Bostic (WAS) - With Thomas Davis out, Bostic played every down and was the team's defensive play caller. He put up a nice stat line of 8 total tackles and chipped in a sack as well against a depleted Eagles offensive line. If Davis misses another game, Bostic becomes a sneaky LB3 value in deeper leagues. 

ILB B.J. Goodson (CLE) - Goodson wasn't expected to much of a fantasy contributor heading into the season, but an injury to Mack Wilson opened the door for the veteran to see starter snaps at MLB. Not only did he start, but he led all linebackers in playing time (90%+) and even called the defensive plays. Goodson's not a great player but should see a high enough amount of opportunity to be a volume-dependent LB3- option. His 5-4 stat line should be fairly indicative of things to come as long as Wilson is out. 


Defensive Backs
S Marcus Maye (NYJ) - I was super high on Maye coming into the season (ranked 24 spots higher than the Expert Consensus Ranking) as camp reports indicated he had moved from his typical center fielder role and into Jamal Adams in-the-box, blitzing safety role where he was excelling. This said, I was ecstatic to see him all over the box scores in Week 1 with a 9 total tackles (7 solo), 2 sacks, a forced fumble, and 2 pass deflections. The Jets defense is going to be on the field a lot this year and it looks like the linebackers aren't going to present much of a tackle threat, so Maye's path to DB1 value is pretty open.

S Jeremy Chinn (CAR) - Chinn is looking like an IDP "hack" this season as the "safety" spent a lot of time playing outside linebacker in camp and, more importantly, in Week 1. He bounced back and forth from safety to linebacker but ultimately played around half of his snaps in the box on his way to a 7-1 tackle line. He was another guy I notated as a sleeper in my 2020 IDP Draft Guide, so hopefully he's already on your team. If not, and he's available, now is your chance to scoop him up.

S Adrian Phillips (NE) - It was hard to get a read on Phillips' value heading into the season. He received a lot of praise at various points from the coaching staff and was seen as a Bill Belichick-type (an experienced player who can fill defensive multiple roles). However, there were also reports he could end up a cap casualty as the Patriots have a few young secondary players waiting in the wings. That obviously didn't happen and Phillips ended up being used in a utility role in Week 1 like many of us thought. He spent a lot of time up as a linebacker in nickel packages. This helped him put up 9 tackles (8 solo) despite only playing 69% of the snaps. Not being full-time presents some cause for concern and will inevitably lead to some dud weeks, but having a semi-linebacker with safety eligibility helps ease the risk and he should be treated as a top 20 fantasy DB until further notice. 

S Chauncey Gardner-Johnson (NO) - Johnson led the team in tackles with 10 (9 solo) and put an in impressive string of plays together throughout the game. The third safety played 87% of the defensive snaps as the Saints played most of the game with three safeties. Expect that playing time to vary a bit depending on the opponent and game script, but he's shaping up to be a 2020 version of Vonn Bell from last year.

S Josh Jones (JAX) - Josh Jones could very well prove to be one of the better IDP values this season. A late off-season trade of Ronnie Harrison suddenly created an opening for the completely off-the-radar Jones to assume the starting strong safety role in Jacksonville.This specific position has proved to be fantasy-friendly in recent years (Jonathan Cyprien, Barry Church, Ronnie Harrison), so it's not a huge shock that Jones was able to rack up 12 total tackles in Week 1. There's a little more competition for tackles in the front seven than normal, so expect some week-to-week variance. But he's worth a look as  DB3/DB4 in most leagues.

S Brandon Jones (MIA) - Jones, the third round pick out of Texas, was a popular dynasty sleeper pick as the potential heir apparent to Reshad Jones but didn't gain much traction as a viable redraft option as he wasn't expected to play much to begin the year. This said, his 10 total tackles are likely going to have a lot of people rushing out to make him a top priority option at the position. But it's important to keep in mind, he only played 53% of the snaps and was the benefactor of the Patriots running the ball 42 times. Given the plethora of other appealing DB waiver wire options at the position, I wouldn't be going after Jones outside of deep IDP leagues or until we see him step into more of a full-time role. 

If you found this article (or past articles) helpful, please consider DONATING. I put a lot of hours every week into my in-season content and make that content available free of charge to my readers, so any support you can throw my way would be greatly appreciated (even if it's just enough for a cup of coffee). 

If you have any questions, feel free to email me at theidpguru@idpguru.com or follow me on Twitter.

Last Updated: September 15, 2020
Related Posts: